He pushed the empty glass across the mahogany bar-top, fingers reluctant to let go. Did fingers linger, waiting for the bartender to fill it before they withdrew, before they could push away from the bar-rail, before he’d stand and slip some money under the glass? Maybe I should have another? Just one more, and then I’ll leave, or maybe walk across the street to the Twilight.
She’s never looked for me at the Twilight, but she’s found me here...what is it...three times in three years? He always told her that he’d just dropped by for a shot or two, needed to unwind, and she’d waited until he stood. They left, he floating, she holding onto his arm like a tether. He knew that if he tried to explain she’d cry, so he didn’t. They walked the eleven blocks home in silence. He promised to stop drinking, but didn’t. She stopped asking. She stopped talking to him. He began to stay at the bars longer than usual.
Instead of standing, he asked for another. After a while he wasn’t sure if he had, or if the bartender was, by habit, refilling his empty glass. He thought about her. We don’t argue. We don’t fight. We seldom eat a meal together. I wonder why she doesn’t leave me? His tongue felt too large for his mouth.
He wasn’t sure, but thought it had been...maybe a year ago when she’d wanted to make love, but he couldn’t. That had made him cry. She'd cried then, too. He stayed away for a few days, told her he was sorry, said it was work that made him worry and drink.
When she left and stayed with her parents he was sure she wouldn’t return, but she did. And she looked at him with those eyes, and that made it even worse. Why did she come back? I should just go to the moon.
He was almost across the street before he heard and saw the speeding car. It didn’t hurt…but the funny thing, he thought, weightless, before his tumbling body met pavement, this is what flying must feel like to astronauts… .
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